The going rate for collecting ballot signatures is hitting lucrative levels. That means whether you’re anti-fracking or pro-marijuana, you can support your cause and get paid big bucks, too.
Tim Ecker in California did just that, according to a Los Angeles Times report. He spent the first half of the year collecting signatures, getting paid $5 per name. That added up to $3,000 a week, and Ecker was able to put down his clipboard in mid-May and take the rest of the year off.
Signature gatherers are hired by coordinators who are employed by major petition consulting firms, which are hired by the campaigns.
Petition consultants and longtime signature collectors say rates in California are higher this year overall because of the large number of initiatives trying to get on November’s ballot and the money certain campaigns are willing to pay this year.
In Anaheim, California, signature collectors are being paid $6 a signature so voters can decide the fate of two luxury hotel development deals either in November or in a special election. The pay was advertised on the National Association of Professional Petitioners and Coordinators on Facebook.
It’s not just California, either. The Facebook site recently posted petition-gathering jobs in Colorado for anti-fracking ($2.50 per signature with a 50-cent completion bonus) and for an unspecified marijuana initiative ($4 per pop). In Connecticut, there are two separate petitions paying $2.50 a signature to get the Libertarian and Green Party candidates on the presidential ballot.
Earlier this year, a campaign to get a casino in southern Maine paid $10 per signature and advertised free travel and lodging. The pay and expense-free travel lured even out-of-state people to cash in.
But some people didn’t get paid as expected. One man who traveled to Portland, Maine, for the casino referendum told the Portland Press Herald that he’s still owed $4,000 for his two weeks of work. Another man posted on the Facebook site with a similar complaint.
“Well, looks like we are not going to see our final pay in Maine,” Brian Scott Belts wrote. “I am currently owed about $7,000 and the ‘coordinators’ left out alot (sic) of the contingencies on our pay. Did not realize there were still so many liars in the industry.”